A blog about writing and all things story…
|English Patient overhead from Clark’s class.|
In the beginning of my writing years I often struggled with creating enough conflict (on the page) for my characters. But then one day at the Willamette Writers Conference, while listening to my brother Clark Kohanek speak on many, many things, it clicked; conflict can be as subtle as the choices my character needs to make that are in direct conflict with their values. AHA! Choice is conflict.
A quote from Clark’s Transitions class;
Choice: Conflict and Dilemma
A CHOICE between right and wrong, good and evil, is an obvious one.
Conflict: is a struggle arising from opposing demands or impulses dealing with those values.True choice is — Dilemma
Clark has shown me how to use objects in my writing to help define who my characters are, what they desire, how to reveal their wound, and so much more. Or places, like the barren sand dessert of The English Patient, to reveal the emotional landscape of a scene or story. Look at the objects, places and things in your story; are they random or do they deepen your narrative?
Robert Ray and Jack Remick also focus a great deal on this visual aspect of storytelling, in The Weekend Novelist.
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